June 13, 2006 The Segway is seen by many (us included) as a significant step in the history of personal transportation. We’re still waiting for the logical evolution of the Segway in the recreational vehicle mould (the outrageous Centaur Concept we dubbed the wheelie machine) but we’re still keen to see Dean Kamen’s next evolution of the Segway. In the meantime, we figure it’s worth mentioning the SegSeat – an accessory seat designed to enhance the Segway and mobilize the millions limited until now to scooters and wheelchairs. The SegSeat glides forward and back upon a braced rail, allowing sitting riders to emulate a standing rider's typical leaning movements that control the Segway. SegSeats are also collapsible, allowing standing riders to use modified vehicles without interference.
Inventor Mario Raneses conceived the idea about two years ago, moving it from conception to production with confidence following the realization that it had no peers in the market. He fine-tuned his designs through three prototypes before mass production.
"People who have been greatly limited in mobility have contacted me with real excitement about their tremendously improved lives," Mario relates. "A simple, obvious need, really, though the engineers and I took great pains with design elements and safety concerns. The fact that the seats will provide rest for heretofore-typical standing Segway users is a bonus, but the idea came from seeing a practical way to help people get up, out and about."
Seat-equipped Segways will create an entirely new class of vehicles in the assistive device industry. Disability Rights Advocates For Technology (DRAFT) members quickly warmed to the idea as can be seen in the company's testimonials section.
"Now that the SegSeat is finally shipping, we're not surprised to hear that the new customers are quite pleased with it," writes Chris Johnson, editor of The Red Key for Segway Enthusiasts (www.redkey.com). "We predicted months ago that this would be an accessory to watch. The reason we're so enchanted by the SegSeat is that it's in a class all by itself as an accessory. [It] has to be the coolest Segway accessory ever. We give them an A+ for their product."